A Day In The Life of Janet Carter

Staff Nurse, OPD, CHI at Connolly

My morning routine actually starts the previous night. I try to have everything organized for both myself and the family. Uniforms are laid out and lunches packed so as not to wake the family when my alarm goes off at 6.20am.

I leave the house at 6.50 and join the stream of traffic on the M50.  I get to listen to the news while driving and arrive into work at 7.20am

I then head to the locker room to change into my uniform and enjoy a quick catch up with staff from other Departments in the satellite centre.  The communal areas in the building are great to meet people and hear about the other Departments.

We have a small team of nurses and clinical nurse specialists working in the OPD who have transferred from the three children’s hospitals and are working here since the opening of CHI at Connolly in July 2019.

Our nursing team meet in the OPD and we plan our allocations for the day ahead. The OPD is based over two floors and nurses are allocated depending on the clinics requirements. This ensures plenty of variety for staff from general paediatric clinics to allergy and fracture clinics.

The first appointment in OPD is usually 8am. This is great as it allows children to get back to school early.  This is a new routine for me as I have always worked shift work over seven days and having every weekend off is still a novelty.

I work closely with the multidisciplinary team of doctors, dieticians, psychologists, physiotherapists, Children in Hospital Ireland volunteers and administration staff to ensure that patients and their families receive high quality holistic care in an exemplar setting.

Most of the MDTs rotate from base sites to CHI at Connolly so each day is very different. I get to work with professionals from all three base sites which is interesting.

It is a credit to our manager that staff from different backgrounds of children’s nursing have bonded and blended here in the OPD in such a short space of time to create a very enjoyable place to work. This would be what I treasure most about the hospital.

The biggest change for me in my role as staff nurse has been the thought of the paperless charts system EVOLVE. Computers play a big role in the OPD and all patients notes are now in EVOLVE.  All clinical information is inputted into EVOLVE on desktop computers. For me I was concerned about being able to grasp this new system, as well as other electronic systems in our paperlite centre such as Enlighten the patient calling system, different lab systems and MS Teams.

As challenging as I thought this would be, I surprised myself in my ability to grasp these systems quickly (with the help of the I.T. Department and my colleagues). I now find myself supporting and helping others who have not used systems and face the same worries as I did.

When I get home from work, I like to catch up with my family and hear how their day was. I enjoy heading off to the beach or local parks for walks and meeting up with friends for coffee in my free time.